randombio.com | commentary
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gender is a meaningless term

If nobody knows what gender you are from one minute to the next, the word ceases to have any practical meaning.

I t was driven home to me yesterday that the word ‘gender’ is now completely meaningless.

I was peer-reviewing a paper on differences in male and female mice. I can't talk about what they found, as fascinating as it was, but what I can say is that I couldn't bring myself in my review to call it a ‘gender difference.’ Not for political reasons, but because ... what on earth does it mean?

In biology we used to say, when studying male/female differences, that there is a gender effect. It was a useful term that let us discriminate between sex differences and the sex act. The statement sounds like a joke today. We have, last time I checked, at least 58 genders, none more believable than the next, and people claiming to hop from one to the other like Mexican jumping beans.

Let's face it: if nobody knows what gender you are from one minute to the next, the word gender ceases to have any practical meaning. Nobody is any gender.

You might think the loss of one word is a small thing, considering the English language still has 616,499 others. But that would be missing the point. When we redefine symbols we rewrite the past. The Confederate battle flag was redefined as racist so the left could further oppress Southerners. Sexuality was redefined as gender to change social norms. As many others have pointed out, words are redefined to limit and control thought.

Many people resist this, and for good reason. Words let us distinguish things from each other so we can think about them. If people steal words and redefine them to support their latest cause, no idea is safe.

Maybe it's by design. The only safe strategy is to keep quiet. But what do we gain by not knowing whether somebody is someone you can shtup or not? That is the whole point of having sex differences, and I for one think it's a useful thing to know.

Daniel Davis at The Federalist put it this way:

“[Liberal sexual philosophy] reduces gender to a cultural phenomenon. In doing this, it robs transgenderism of its key claims to gender authenticity, and therefore of its right to moral affirmation.”

Only a year after he wrote that, gender has come to mean everything and therefore nothing. If gender is meaningless, then so is transgenderism, which is now a shorthand way of saying that Wheaties is bad for you.

‘Gender’ has become an expression of verbal narcissism: its only purpose is to tell you what the writer thinks of him- or herself. It has no significance of its own.

Updated May 02 2016 5:09 am

Related articles

Denying Biology
If biology is co-opted by the Left, our future could be written by ideologues.

Divided, conquered and decon­structed
The anti-biology left has finally blown itself to bits.

Let me tell you about my trouble with girls in the lab
Male and female brains are wired differently for pain.

On the Internet, no one can tell whether you're a dolphin or a porpoise

book reviews